There's a new automotive segment being born as we speak. Previewed by the Porsche Panamera, Aston Martin Rapide and BMW 5-Series Gran Turismo, modern four-door sportback sedans combine the functionality of a hatchback with seating for four or five, all wrapped in a shapely, sleek package. Audi previewed its own offering at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show by way of the Sportback concept, and now the production model has officially been unveiled in Munich.
From a design standpoint, it's obvious that the A7 Sportback was penned alongside the all-new flagship A8 sedan. Audi's signature LED running lamps are intact up front, in a more angular shape than what you'd see on the A4 or R8, and the chopped rear deck is not only a throwback to fastback sedans from many decades ago, but its design mimics that of the larger A8, as well. The most striking view, however, is the side profile, which looks to be one part shooting brake and one part coupe, though if we're honest, we wish the A7's front overhang were reduced just a bit. Interestingly, at one point, Audi refers to the A7 has having a boattail, which initially made us cringe, but staring at it a bit more, this notion makes a degree of sense.
Powertrain details are slim as of this writing, but Audi says that the A7 Sportback will debut with four different V6 offerings, two petrol and two diesel. Expect the 3.0-liter supercharged V6 from the S4, S5 and A6 to be on hand, as well as the 3.0-liter TDI V6 found in the Q7 SUV. Audi will offer the A7 in both front- and all-wheel-drive configurations, with the Multitronic CVT and seven-speed S-tronic transmissions being used, respectively. Interestingly, unlike the A8, the A7 will make use of electric power steering, so we hope Audi's boffins have done their homework on dialing in feel and linearity.
Inside, we expect the standard raft of Audi amenities, including the automaker's new MMI Touch infotainment interface. From there, the latest in Audi technology will be on hand, including wireless internet connectivity. The interior is very much akin to that in the new A8, and we fully expect that it will offer premium creature comforts while still being driver-focused.
No official confirmation for North American consumers just yet, but we expect an all-wheel drive model to make it to these shores – presumably with a gasoline and S-tronic gearbox only configuration.
Hit the jump to read the full details in Audi's press release, and click through the attached gallery for high-res shots. We fully anticipate that Audi will open the floodgates on further information and images in the near future, so stay tuned.
The Audi A7 – elegance and efficiency
INGOLSTADT, Germany, Jul 26, 2010 - Summary
Aesthetic and athletic –
the Audi A7 Sportback
Emotion-packed design, sporty character and innovative technology: Audi is targeting a new market segment with the A7 Sportback. The large five-door model with the dynamically accentuated rear end brings together the best of three worlds: the sporty elegance of a coupe, the comfort of a sedan and the practicality of a station wagon.
The A7 Sportback is pure high-tech. Its body is very lightweight thanks to numerous aluminum components. The elegant interior shows a craftsman's level of workmanship. The four V6 engines combine refined power with groundbreaking efficiency. The 3.0 TDI with 150 kW (204 hp) and multitronic has CO2 emissions of just 139 grams per kilometer (223.70 g/mile). The sporty chassis comes with new solutions, such as electromechanical power steering. When it comes to assistance and infotainment systems, the luxury-class coupe exhibits all of the innovative power expected of Audi.
The five-door coupe from Audi combines supreme, long-distance comfort with a sporty character. The interior noise level is very low even at fast highway speeds, with the V6 engines providing refined acoustic feedback as their power unfolds.
The excellent vibrational comfort likewise contributes to the atmosphere of cultured tranquility on board. This is the result of painstakingly tuning all components, systematic hydraulic damping in the axle and drivetrain bearings and the extremely stiff body. The body is comprised primarily of aluminum and high-tech steels, making it extremely lightweight and safe. The large rear hatch opens wide to reveal a large, extremely usable luggage compartment that is very easy to load. Its 535-liter (18.89 cu ft) capacity swells to a volume of 1,390 liters (49.09 cu ft) with the rear seat backrests folded down.
With the A7 Sportback, which will be rolling into dealerships in the fall at a base price of €51,600, Audi is taking up a new design line representing elegance on a grand scale. The five-door coupe is 4.97 meters (16.31 ft) long and 1.91 meters (6.27 ft) wide, but only 1.42 meters (4.66 ft) high. Its long hood, the short front overhang, the long wheelbase, the sportily flowing C-pillars and the sharply dropping rear create a dynamic overall impression. The five-door coupe is an aesthetic athlete with a wide, powerful road stance.
Optional LED headlights reinforce the unmistakable expression of the A7 Sportback and provide all light functions with light-emitting diodes while minimizing energy consumption. Bi-xenon headlights and LED tail lights come standard. The innovative all-weather light function has also been integrated into the headlights, replacing the classic fog lights.
The sinewy sportiness of the exterior carries over into the interior of the A7 Sportback, where Audi again demonstrates its leading role in automotive design. The salient element is the "wrap-around," a horizontal line that encircles the driver and front-seat passenger in the interior to provide a feeling of safety and security. The wave-shaped application strip with its integrative dynamics is the salient element of the dashboard.
The utmost care has been devoted to every last detail in the interior. Workmanship is at a craftsman's level. Optional climate-control and massage functions are available for the front seats covered in high-grade Audi leathers. The optional ambient lighting fills the entire interior with atmosphere.
Like Audi's A8 flagship, the A7 Sportback also combines a new level of technical intelligence with logical, intuitive ergonomics and self-explanatory operation. The advanced MMI operating system with central menu button and reduced number of buttons comes standard, while one of the options is a new head-up display that projects the most important information on the windshield. The MMI touch system combines a hard drive navigation system with the convenience of touchpad input.
The driver can use the touchpad to perform numerous functions, such as using his or her finger to write the letters of the destination or the digits of the telephone number.
The online services work together with Google to connect the five-door Audi coupe to the Internet via the Bluetooth car phone. A UMTS module delivers images and information from Google Earth to the monitor and combines them with the navigation route. A WLAN hotspot is used to connect mobile devices. Further to the Bose sound system, the top-of-the-line option is the Advanced Sound System from Bang & Olufsen featuring 1,300 watts of power and
The top navigation system works closely together with the many optional driver assistance and safety systems in the A7 Sportback. It forwards the route data to the control units for the headlights, the automatic transmission and the adaptive cruise control with stop & go function, enabling these systems to recognize complex scenarios. In many cases, the Audi pre sense safety system can reduce the severity of accidents and their consequences. The new Audi active lane assist helps the driver to keep the A7 Sportback firmly on course, and the new park assist system relieves the driver of the chore of steering when parallel parking.
Audi will initially offer the A7 Sportback with a choice of four powerful and cultivated V6 engines: two gasoline and two TDI units. Their power output ranges from 150 kW (204 hp) to 220 kW (300 hp), and their efficiency sets impressive new standards in the vehicle class. The new 3.0 TDI with 150 kW (204 hp) and multitronic consumes on average just 5.3 liters of fuel per 100 km
(44.38 US mpg), corresponding to CO2 emissions of just 139 g per km
(223.70 g/mile). All engines use Audi's innovative thermal management system, a recuperation system and a start-stop system.
The standard automatic transmissions also play a role in the high efficiency of the Audi A7 Sportback. Audi offers two different transmissions depending on the engines: The continuous multitronic sends the power to the front wheels, while the sporty seven-speed S tronic works together with quattro permanent all-wheel drive. The latest evolutionary stage of quattro features a crown-gear center differential and torque vectoring.
The drive system is particularly flexible and dynamic. The optional sport differential actively distributes the power between the rear wheels.
The chassis also combines sporty precision with luxurious comfort. The Audi
A7 Sportback rolls on large wheels measuring from 18 to 20 inches in diameter. The chassis features aluminum control arms and a newly developed power steering system with an electromechanical drive for high efficiency. The Audi drive select dynamics system is standard and can be supplemented by the optional adaptive air suspension with controlled damping.